As your entrepreneurial life takes off, you'll find your business slowly getting cluttered with repetitive, frustrating (and often time-wasting) tasks. It's all too easy to lose hours a week — or hours a DAY — focusing on things that aren't productive, instead of pouring your energy into profit-producing activities. Which means, it's critical you recognize the "time vampires", as Dan Kennedy calls them, and put an end to them once and for all. Kill them as soon as they start cluttering your day. That's why I'm a *huge* fan of outsourcing these tasks so you can have more fun (and time) in your life.
But outsourcing doesn't always have to be to another person - it can mean handing something off to software or 3rd-party systems that handle the heavy lifting. So with "Organize Your Home Office Day" recently being celebrated, I thought it would be the perfect time to share three of my favorite kick-butt, time-saving tools with you in this three-part series. CLUTTER REDUCER #1: Google Calendar (http://calendar.google.com) This totally free tool rocks! I got tired of having different calendars for different projects - personal one in Outlook, joint venture projects in Microsoft Groove, family events on paper, etc.
I've been dying for a calendar system that allows the ultimate flexibility when collaborating with others, but that also isolates my personal events. (I doubt my business partners care about when I'm getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist.) Enter: Google Calendar! This brilliantly designed, completely web-based free tool allows you to do all that and more! Simply create as many calendars as you need (for example, I have ones for my joint venture projects, my company, my family, my personal events, birthdays and more). Each calendar gets color-coded and then appears (or disappears) from your master calendar view simply by checking the boxes on the left. Now here's the cool part: You can set up "sharing" for individual calendars and events.
Which means my team members ONLY get access to my JV calendar and company calendar, while my family has access to the "Zavadowski Family Events" calendar. And brilliant Google even lets you control permissions, so your calendar can be "read-only" or others can add/change events as needed. Along with TONS of other features (including text messaging reminders, public shared calendars, multiple views and more, the possibilities are endless. If you host weekly team trainings for your downline, why not create a team calendar that shows all the upcoming events, along with dial-in information, motivational tips and more. Or if you're traveling around hosting live events, you can even publish your calendar on your website for others to see.
Or combine both ideas and put your team calendar on your team training mini-site. The system is virtually limitless! And one more thing. If you currently use Outlook (or PDAs requiring Outlook), but fall in love with Google for its massive collaboration potential, I recommend a piece of software called "Oggsync" (much more powerful than Google's free tool currently is). I use it to sync all of my different events and calendars between Outlook and Google.
With the push of a button, everything is always up-to-date, whether on my computer, or on the web. The importance of Google Calendar is to streamline your business life. Instead of trying to juggle and remember events on different calendars (or scraps of paper and post-it notes), keep everything cleanly organized online with you, your team and your staff -- all in ONE central, web-based location.
Play around with Google Calendar for 5 minutes and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. Stay tuned for Clutter Reducers #2 and #3 which free you from voicemail and liberate your inbox from spam once and for all! Copyright (c) 2008 Chris Zavadowski.
Chris Zavadowski, 2007-2008's Coach of the Year, has gained top recognition online and offline for his unique ways of growing businesses with the Internet. For more of Chris' breakthrough online marketing resources, and to find out about Clutter Reducing Tools #2 and #3, visit his totally free blog at: http://www.mlmblog.com/unclutteryourlife.html